The Stars were in line last night in Providence, RI the home of the 2013 AHL All-Star weekend. Hockey fans of all ages flocked to the Dunkin Donuts Center to cheer for their favorite AHL All-Star in the skills competition. The All-Star Game will be played on Monday, January 28, 2013 at 7:00 pm in the Dunkin Donuts Center.
The night started with the Sher-Wood Puck Control Relay. This event was broken into four heats and the winning team earned one goal. The Eastern Conference (EC) took three out of the four heats. Two players who really stuck out during the Sher-Wood Puck Control Relay were Syracuse’s Tyler Johnson and Mark Barberio who are competing on the Eastern Conferences roster.
The next event was the CCM Fastest Skater. Once again the Eastern Conference locked things down. Through the two events, the scoreboard read 5 to 1 in favor of the EC. The fastest skater at the event was Portland’s Chris Summers who was clocked at 13.324. The slowest skater was Gabriel Dumont of the Hamilton Bulldogs coming across the line at 14.312.
Next on tap was the Rapid Fire event where every goalie was in action for each conference. The Western Team put out Barry Brust, Petr Mrazek and Justin Peters. The Eastern goalies included Robin Lehner, Curtis McElhinney and Niklas Svedberg. Keep in mind that the team with the most saves earns one goal. The three Western Conference (WC) goalies stopped 19 shots while the Eastern Conference tendys stonewalled 23 shots. Mark one more point for the Eastern Team pulling them further into the lead on the scoreboard.
The CCM Hardest Shot Contest proved to be a turning point for the Western Conference. Rochester’s Brayden McNabb who scored his team a goal by slamming home the hardest shot clocked in at 101.8. The other point went to the team that had the highest average speed. The WC was clocked at 73.8 while the Eastern Squad had a better average speed at 98.7.
The two foes headed into the 5th event, Pepsi Accuracy Shooting, with the scoreboard reading 2 to 7 with the EC on top. Matt Fraser tallied one point for the West hitting four targets on 5 attempts. The Western ended up sweeping the event securing both of the two possible points.
The Pepsi Pass and Score competition pitted goalies against three skaters with no backup. Each individual goal scored by a team helped to improve the overall score. Eastern goalies Robin Lehner and Curtis McElhinney both let in a goal apiece while Grand Rapids Petr Mrazek let in one lone goal. Chalk it up 6 to 8 still in favor of the Eastern Conference.
If you survey hockey fans, many will tell you that the H & R Block Breakaway challenge is their favorite to watch. Matt Fraser, Ryan Hamilton, Michal Jordan, Brayden McNabb, Mark Arcobello, and Marty St. Pierre tallied a goal apiece while Chad Kolarik, Radko Gudas, and Tyler Toffoli were the three goal scorers for team Eastern. The final score was 12 to 11 in favor of the Western All-Stars a great come back for the underdogs of the competition.
Ted grew up in Virginia. Warren has a passion for the AHL and dishes out articles about the Norfolk Admirals and the AHL. Follow him on Twitter @bauerhockeydude